Carboplatin is a chemotherapy drug used against some forms of cancer (mainly ovarian carcinoma, lung, head and neck cancers). It was introduced in the late 1980s and has since gained popularity in clinical treatment due to its vastly reduced side-effects compared to its parent compound cisplatin. Cisplatin and carboplatin, as well as oxaliplatin, interact with DNA, akin to the mechanism of alkylating agents.
Carboplatin was discovered and developed at the Institute of Cancer Research in London. Bristol-Myers Squibb gained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for carboplatin, under the brand name Paraplatin, in March 1989. Starting in October 2004, generic versions of the drug became available.
A recent study in mutant mice suggests that in the subset of women with breast cancer due to BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (these cause a variety of familial breast cancer) carboplatin may be as much as 20 times more effective than the usual breast cancer treatments. However, similar data in humans has not yet been shown.
Carboplatin has also been used to treat testicular cancer patients with stage 1 seminoma. Recent research indicates that this treatment is more effective and has fewer side effects than adjuvant radiotherapy. It is as effective as radiotherapy at preventing development of seminoma in the remaining testicle.
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